Deborah Silver is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She discovered her love of weaving while attaining her BFA at the Cleveland Institute of Art, majoring in Fiber and minoring in Drawing.
After a weaving internship, Deborah learned the craft of antique furniture upholstery. She then combined her skills to open her own fiber art business. She worked closely with interior designers, creating site-specific fiber commissions for private residences, businesses and religious institutions. Her works are in the collections of Montefiore Home and B’nai Jeshuran Congregation in Cleveland, Ohio.
Currently, Deborah designs and explores her art using the split-shed weaving technique. With this method, Deborah has transformed traditional patterns into a signature a method of hand-weaving. All horizontal (weft) yarns travel from selvedge to selvedge, differentiating this fabric from tapestry.
Deborah's "tribal" weavings combine her interest in tribal imagery with contemporary faces. Her attraction to ethnographic art began when she served as the program chair of the Cuyahoga Weavers Guild. To create a more diverse curriculum, Deborah obtained grant funding, enabling Gilbert “Bobbo” Ahiagble to travel from Ghana. The master kente cloth weaver spent three weeks in Ohio. He lectured, gave demonstrations and taught workshops using traditional kente cloth looms. This marked the beginning of Deborah’s fascination with tribal art, history and symbolism. Her work is inspired by the increased cross-culturalism in our world, and is especially influenced by her research and interactions with weavers worldwide.
Deborah’s weavings have been shown in numerous local and national juried exhibitions. In 2015, she received a Cleveland Jewish Arts and Culture Fellowship award. In 2017, she received third prize in the ARTneo national juried competition. In 2018, she received the Complex Weavers Award and First Place at Complexity 2018. She is also the recipient of a 2019 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award.
Deborah continues to explore the many facets of split-shed weaving in her art, discovering new ways to combine her imagery with pattern structures.
Deborah is the author of The Technique of Split-shed Weaving, a book that illustrates pictorial weaving using a split shed on four shaft looms. She also lectures and teaches workshops on split-shed weaving. She is married to the painter, Patrick Haggerty. They live happily in a home with too little wall space and too many cats in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.